Power of Place

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In Chapter four of “Social Media: a critical introduction,” Fuchs discusses and analyzes tue theoretical foundation of Manual Castells’ approach, one of those being communication power in the Arab Spring and Occupy movement. On pages 83-84, Fuchs discusses how Castells’ believes what the role of social media and communication power was in the Tunisian and Egyptian Revolutions. Castells says, “the Arab uprisings were spontaneous processes of mobilization that emerged from calls from the Internet and wireless communication networks.” He is also said to put great emphasis on the mobilization capacities of the Internet, and implies that the Internet communication created street protests (so without the Internet these protests wouldn’t exists). He goes on to say that he believes that “the networked social movements of our time are largely based in the Internet…The digital social networks based on the Internet and on wireless platforms are decisive tools for mobilizing, for organizing, for deliberating, for coordinating, and for deciding.”

In contrast to Castells’ argument is an article I read called “It’s Still About the Power of Place,” written by Helga Tawil-Souri. In her article she discusses two argument: one being that territoriality and place are integral to media networks and infrastructures, and the other that media studies needs to give a greater importance to such geography. Many described the Egypt revolution as a Twitter revolution, Facebook revolution or a social media revolution. Many claimed that Mubarak’s stepping down and the Egypt uprising was thanks to the role media played. In Tawil-Souri article she has a different idea and says, “I take it as axiomatic that foregrounding media as the source of political change is problematic on various fronts.” (p. 87). She believes that place matter and that we have to take into account both the ‘placeness’ of the uprising and the media networks. She letter goes on to mention Castells’ and to argue that media networks exist in-place, the even from network perspectives, place does not just disappear and the physical presence still matters, even more so then ever.

Tawil-Souri, H. (2012). It’s Still About the Power of Place. Middle East Journal of Culture and Communication,89-95.

 

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